The influx of change of the past 18 months extends to the marketing department, and there are plenty of tools and opportunities to engage more effectively with your audiences. Robynne Parkington, a marketing specialist at Mighty Citizen, outlined five digital marketing trends to take note of during the 2021 ASAE Annual Meeting.
As association marketers begin drawing up marketing plans for the next year, there’s usually a pull to look at what’s hot in terms of marketing trends and apply at least one trend to your plan. But, Parkington warns, don’t jump onto a cool idea without buy-in from your team!
- Is this relevant? Be honest.
- Will it solve a problem?
- Do we or will we have the infrastructure or resources in place to implement this?
If the answer to any of these questions is “No, not really,” pass on the trend. But if the answer to all three questions is “Yes!,” consider these trends for your 2022 plan:
5 Digital Marketing Trends for 2022
1. Post-pandemic clean up
Last year taught us that not having your digital house in order isn’t an option. Associations that struggled the most during the pandemic had messy tech stacks. Not having a marketing plan also wasn’t an option, but even those with supposed airtight plans can face small (or big) failures due to completely unanticipated circumstances. Therefore, it pays to be nimble. Periodically review and update your plan while keeping in mind that everyone experiences some level of stress and change.
So how do you clean up? First, check in on your marketing personas. It’s very likely that your stakeholders’ needs and goals have changed since 2019. Next, evaluate your web performance. How is your current site affecting your ability to be found? Do you need to refresh any email drip campaigns? More importantly, have you turned on Google Analytics 4 for your web properties? This is Google’s new analytics tool. Third, review your current data and tech stack. Do your current tools meet your future needs? Finally, review your goals and benchmarks. It may be time to re-establish them.
2. Testing with Google optimize
Google Optimize is a free website optimization tool that helps marketers and developers increase conversion rates and overall user experience through easy -o-set up A/B testing. The tool lets you change aspects of your website, such as headers, fonts and colors in a testing or real environment. You can quickly test a marketing hypothesis and get your results in weeks, without the need to put your development team to work. This method of making data-driven decisions will set your digital properties on more solid footing.
3. Diversifying platform portfolio
People are becoming more digital savvy. But this doesn’t mean they’re using every platform available. Audit where you’re currently talking online as well as where your audiences are congregating. Make a plan to engage with your audiences on the platforms they’re using. You should invest time and effort only on those platforms. As you work across different platforms, ensure that you’re optimizing content by platform (videos don’t work as well on LinkedIn as they do on TikTok, for example). Use your branding consistently across everything. Remember that diversification is great, but you must also adapt your content plans to avoid overwhelming staff and resources.
4. Artificial Intelligence
While artificial intelligence (AI) still seems nebulous, it’s really a technology that’s available to everyone. Marketers can use AI in fun ways to predict audience behaviors: personalization, conversational experiences, predictive analysis, marketing operations, and dynamic pricing.
Predictive analysis forecasts the likelihood of a lead or customer taking the same actions as others who have behaved in a similar way. Dynamic pricing helps you uplevel offers by using an algorithm to tell you which price level might lead to a conversion at a higher price point Check out five ways to use AI for member management from Enginess.
Also a form of AI, chatbots operate on if/then logic for chats with your website visitors. Chatbots provide quick answers to common questions and help you meet prospective members or existing members quickly. They create an additional touchpoint for your audiences while freeing up time for your staff by answering common questions automatically. Chatbots allow your association to expand your programming bandwidth.
When using chatbots on your association’s websites, be sure to have the right mix of auto-response and live response. Sometimes, you need a human to intervene to answer more complex inquiries. Also, make sure your auto-response captures the essence of your brand and voice.
Remember to examine chatbot data from time to time. Your association can learn a lot from the questions people ask and the responses they give to your chatbots. Examining data will help you refine your chatbot to make it even more helpful, too.
For more about Parkington’s predicted 2022 marketing trends, visit mightycitizen.com/2022-trends.